COMP-598: Quantum Information Theory


Time: Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 to 11:30 (Winter 2013)

Room: McConnell 103


Instructor:      Patrick Hayden

                        Office: ENGMC 108N

                        Phone: 398-5491


                        Office hours: Wednesday 10:00-12:00


Course description:


This course will present the quantum analog of Shannon s information theory. This area has seen an explosion of interest and a correspondingly rapid technical advance over the past ten years, largely in response to the development of quantum-mechanically based cryptographic protocols and Shor s famous algorithm for factoring integers. The unavoidable presence of noise in any quantum-mechanical information processing device means that error-correction techniques will play a crucial role in any practical application of quantum cryptography or computing. This course will focus on asymptotic protocols for compression, communication, error correction and state distillation, identifying the absolute limits placed on those tasks by quantum mechanics.


Familiarity with quantum mechanics is recommended. The course content is very mathematical, but elementary. Students should be comfortable with basic probability theory, linear algebra and real analysis. The material will be covered through a combination of lectures and student presentations.


Course outline:


Grading: 60% assignments, 40% project.


Text: There is no formal text for the course. However, roughly the first month s worth of material can be found in Quantum Computation and Quantum Information by Nielsen and Chuang, which is an excellent introduction to the field as a whole. Mark Wilde s free quantum information theory book is excellent and provides a different perspective on much of the material. Elements of Information Theory by Cover and Thomas should meet your classical information theory needs.


Projects: More information can be found here.


Embarrassing obligatory inclusion:   

By the direction of Senate (January 29, 2003), all course outlines have to include the following statement:

McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore, all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see for more information).